Mosquito abatement control refusing to use grant for tire shredder
BATON ROUGE - East Baton Rouge Parish has hundreds of thousands of dollars to buy a commercial tire shredding machine with grant money that was awarded last year. But a shredder hasn't yet been purchased. One metro council member is fed up with that and is now taking action.
Even the money is there, but for some reason, those who have control of the funds, have no interest in going into the tire-shredding business.
Old discarded tires are dumped along one street in Baton Rouge, and left to rot.
“The landfill charges so much, people don't have no other way, so people are going to dump anywhere," local resident Andrew Early said.
“Mosquito are bad around here, there are a million mosquitoes in those tries over there," said Early.
The first positive sample of the mosquito-borne West Nile Virus was reported in Baton Rouge last week.
“It's a perfect breeding ground for mosquitoes because the water warms up and doesn't evaporate,” said Early.
Councilman Matt Watson said the parish has more than $600,000 in grants to buy a tire shredding machine, to help remove these ugly, mosquito breeding magnets from the side of the road.
“This is the perfect example for Baton Rouge to lead the nation, in something really positive, which is a huge boom to public safety to shred this," Watson said.
But there's one big problem, the grant was actually issued to the office of mosquito abatement and rodent control, and they don't want to have anything to do with shredding tires.
Watson, says if mosquito control doesn't sign for the grant. The council will force them to.
“We got an emergency item on the agenda, to force his hand and force him to sign that document."
Waston says the parish already has two companies wanting operate the shredder for no charge, and they would allow people to drop off tires for free.
“There's a lot of stuff you can grind the tries up and use it for a lot of things," Watson said.
That tire shredder item will be on the agenda for the next council meeting on August 14th.